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By Ann Kennedy
I joined Editors Canada as a student affiliate looking for opportunities to network with “real live” editors. I was partway through the Editing Certificate program at George Brown College and already thinking past graduation. Three years on, I don’t remember my exact Google search term, but I was thrilled to discover that the 2015 Editors Canada conference—their first international one, no less—was taking place in Toronto. I’m an old hand at conference planning, having worked at the local NXNE Music Festival and Conference for nine years, so I jumped at the chance.
I had no qualms about joining the organization in order to volunteer with it. I recognized the enormous potential for meeting people who could definitely advise me in my new career. And the Editors Canada website promised all manner of other benefits to members, too.
I’m so glad I did.
Volunteering at the registration desk was the ideal way to learn who was who in the editing world. I quickly found out that editors are an extraordinarily friendly and supportive group. My Facebook friend list doubled after the conference!
I went on to volunteer at the Editors Toronto booth at Word On The Street and join a national committee. The student relations committee represents the interests of students and fledgling editors in the association. Our mandate is to raise awareness of the association in editing and journalism programs and grow Editors Canada membership through attracting new student affiliates.
I was also honoured to be asked to join a task force whose goal is to improve access to member services for people who live in remote areas or who cannot access Editors Canada services for other reasons, such as disability.
All of this activity has paid off! I’ve made some great friends and I’ve done two copy editing contracts that were referred to me by members I’d met through volunteering. I highly recommend both joining Editors Canada and volunteering. The more you give of your time and talents, the more you’ll get!
Ann Kennedy is dedicated to reviving the skills and importance of excellent spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax in the digital age. She specializes in biography and memoir, travel literature and plain language.
This article was copy edited by Ambrose Li .
by Carol Harrison
It was a dark and stormy night when I met with fellow editors at Editors Toronto’s coffee-shop event last week at Boxcar Social. We were a small group with varying levels of experience and comfort with social media. These meetings are a great way to alleviate the isolation that sometimes comes from working from home. Plus, it’s good to see the real-life faces behind the online names!
Janet MacMillan and I are both active on social media, with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging. Marg Anne Morrison and Alicia Peres, not so much. Admittedly, these platforms can be time-consuming, but they also help you connect with people who you would most likely never meet, especially if they live abroad.
Marg Anne raised the question of what “working remotely” meant. We agreed that it most often means working from home. However, there are those who work in remote regions or rural towns, which underscores the role social media plays.
Alicia said it was good to talk shop without having to explain yourself. That’s why editor meetups are so good! They’re not so much to learn something as they are to let off a bit of work-related steam.
Having drained our wine and drunk our beer (kudos to Boxcar for having Dieu du Ciel and making me one happy editor), it was time to return home. For me, it was good to meet people and reconnect with colleagues.
Carol Harrison is editor-in-chief of BoldFace and freelance editor and writer at Muse Ink. When she isn’t focusing on words, she’s focusing her Nikon D3200.
This article was copy edited by Nicole Osbourne James.
If you’re an experienced editor who works remotely, join your colleagues for an evening of lively discussion about the challenges you face and how social media can help. Over drinks, share your questions, conundrums, and experiences in a welcoming group setting, and gain fresh ideas to help you in your work.
Registration – free (Editors Toronto members only); participants buy their own beverages
This article was copy edited by Jeny Nussey
The Nitpicker’s Nook is a monthly collection of language-related articles, interviews, and blog posts from around the Web. If you read something that would make a good addition, email your suggestion to [email protected].
By Emily Chau
- The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has formed a new group on LinkedIn. Join in to learn a thing or two! (LinkedIn)
- Do you learn best with graphics? Here’s a neat infographic on the Oxford comma, with arguments for and against using the divisive punctuation mark. (Daily Infographic)
- The Canadian Agricultural Library has digitized many of its documents. Here’s a great source for all editors. (Archive.org)
- Are “old” ways the better way? What about marketing? Here’s a new blog entry with 10 reasons to write a snail-mail letter, and five things to do with multiple tools and channels. (Society for Editors and Proofreaders)